Tag Archives: Mase

Reverend Mason Betha Devotional: Love Thy Frienemies

Every Monday I will share an anecdote and/or existential life lesson based on teachings from your favorite rapper’s favorite pastor, Ma$e.
“Even Cam get money again.” Book of Double Up, chapter three: epilogue. 

Since I began the Mason Betha Devotional, it was only a matter of time before Ma$e became a headline. A little over a week ago, Harlem Diplomat Cam’Ron told the world that Ma$se became a pastor to protect himself from the streets. The good reverend dismissively refuted said claims. 

The first single from Ma$e’s sophomore album was a Shalamar-interpolating number entitled “Get Ready.” For a project named Double Up, it was only right the Harlemite told the world it was “get money” time once more. After he shouted out several of his constituents, he saved the best for last, Camron Giles, aka Cam’Ron.

 We grow a part from many that we once thought we’d never be able to live without; this was the case with Cam and Mas. Not only were they teammates on the basketball court, they were both members of the hip hop collective, Children of the Corn[er Preachers]. After being delivered when P. Diddy named him pretty, Betha introduced his good friend to the Notorious B.I.G. and Cam earned his own record deal.

Cam’Ron’s star began to rise in 1998. However, after recording a song hymn called “Horse and Carriage,” the former Manhattan Center teammates had a falling out over money and Puerto Rican Judo (Oh, jou don’t know what that is?). 

Cam’Ron didn’t have any follow-ups as big “Horse and Carriage;” and it seemed as if he could have possibly faded into obscurity. Betha not only made an attempt to bury the hatchet with his friend, he wished him well, and prophesied as well. 

Cam got money again. If people never get a shot at a first impression, Killa was the exception. He rapped incredibly well, showed the world that real mean wear and drive pink, ushered in one of the most revered crews in the Diplomats, gave Bill O’Reilly his greatest interview, told 60 Minutes he would move and not snitch if he lived next door to a serial killer, and as he pointed out in a confrontation with Betha, made $140 million in Sizzurp aka Manischewitz for the hood.

The two gents had a love/hate relationship. While their paths have separated, the two will forever be linked to each other. For every falling out on social media, there is a report of the two playing basketball or something like that. Cam’Ron even reciprocated Betha’s ministry with the last song on his Purple Haze album, “Take Em to Church.” Many thought the song was a diss; but it was a friend telling his other friend “I love you brother, please take these lost souls to church.”

The powerful lesson in this is to always speak life into others. There are many friends, family, and constituents I wish the best of luck to that I wouldn’t have too much to say in person. It may be best to love them from afar; but always keep them close to your heart.

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The Reverend Mason Betha Devotional: Book of Life After Death, Chapter 10

Every Monday I will share an anecdote and/or existential life lesson based on teachings from your favorite rapper’s favorite pastor, Ma$e.

“Stay humble, stay low, blow like Hootie.”

Prosperity preachers often get a bad rap. The public perceive them as pompous and pious people who pillage Peter to pay themselves. Most miss the undercurrent of humility and thankfulness in their message. Ma$e is an expert propagator of this narrative.

Rev. Betha grew tired of speaking as a gun-toting product of his environment. His contribution to 112’s ode to showing one’s woman love the way God loves us all, “Only You (Bad Boy Remix),” aka “Songs of Solomon, 1996,” garnered the young man a clear path to success.

Spending time with a different crowd, M-A-Dollar Sign-E felt compelled to explain the entrapment of success with the world on a song called “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.” The newcomer felt obligated to expound on modesty and servant leadership.

Had Cuda not schooled Mase to the game, he would not have known his duty. At 19 years old, the good reverend was “mostly Dolce down to the tube socks” because God sent Cuda Love to guide him.

The most salient advice Mr. Love had for his protégé  was given in one incomplete sentence: Stay humble, stay low, blow like Hootie. The seven-word parable was layered with information. There was a fictional tale about a black man who made country and rock music named Darius Rucker from South Carolina.

In this tall tale, Rucker was the lead singer of a band called the Blowfish. They toured the southern states of America playing to audiences that loved his music; but wasn’t too fond of the pigment of his skin. The racist crowds disliked Darius but loved his music so much. To get under his skin, these audiences referred to him as “Hootie,” a derogatory term for disgraceful music that originated with Bell BivDeVoe’s second album, Hootie Mack.

Rucker took the high road by “staying low.” He already stood out like a sore thumb as the one black guy everywhere he went; but the music was most important. Instead of making a fuss, he quietly changed the name of the quartet to Hootie and the Blowfish. They sold millions of records and whenever they asked if Darius was Hootie, he’d say “That’s just a name for the band.” Once again, this is all folklore…Charlie Pride and Nelly were the only two black people that made country music.

Ma$e told the world he never would have made it without mentorship and humility. Yes, he danced in tunnels, threw his Rolex in the sky and waived it side to side; but he was still the same ol’ pimp with a changed limp. Scholars have argued the Harlemite’s limp was because he too wrestled with God like Jacob in the book of Genesis; but that’s for another devotional.

We all need and have Cuda’s in our lives. They are the proverbial villages that raise us, tell us right from wrong, and give us guidance we often miss when directly displayed from the divine. Nelly too listened to Cuda’s fable of Hootie and the Blowfish; it worked out very well for him.

 

The Mason Betha Devotional: Book of Harlem World, Chapter Six


Every Monday I will share an anecdote and/or existential life lesson based on teachings from your favorite rapper’s favorite pastor, Ma$e.

“If you got a girl, don’t be real committed. ‘Cause Ma$e will hit it. You got-ta deal with it.” 

In 1997, the Player Hater’s Parable, also known as “Lookin’ At Me,” was considered groundbreaking. While dancing around a convertible, his name in lights, and next to a woman buried in sand, Betha revealed several life lessons from a first-person perspective. Without faith and following P. Diddy who made him pretty, the rapper of the cloth never would have had to ask a hater “Why you don’t like me? Because I’m mad fly and icey?”

Contrary to Genius’ claims, Rev’s last two lines of the second verse were not a tale of his ability to take “your” girl and get to know her in a biblical sense. The message was one of self-awareness and one’s place within the universe. It was the Harlem way of saying “Faith without works is dead.”

Whether we believe in a benevolent and omnipresent supreme being or the spirit of the cosmos, something and someone out there is guiding us all. No ideas are our own; the Universe puts ideas into the air and it is up to us to complete them. 

You ever have that million dollar idea and for one reason or another sat on it for too long? Shortly after, someone always makes a ton of money-or acquires success-with the same vision as yours. Well, the answer is simple, you didn’t commit. 

M-A-Dollar-Sign-E knew this from a first-hand experience. He knew that his life’s work would be to deliver souls with a powerful message the youth could dance to. However, as a member of the Children of the Corn[er], he fashioned himself as the baby-faced gangsta, Murda Mase. A chance meeting with prophet Sean “Puffy” Combs changed everything. Hip Hop’s landscape was changing and Puff needed a messenger more palatable-and less hideous looking-than Craig Mack to balance Biggie Smalls.

At first, Mase was hesitant of changing his image and needed convincing. Had he not bought into the program, Puff would have found someone else to preach the truth and the light while frolicking in shiny leather suits. Without acting on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Mason Betha could have been in his apartment on 140th St and Lenox Ave, seeing someone else saving souls on in Las Vegas on BET. With or without the good reverend, “Feel So Good” was coming to fruition. 

While there are many lessons to learn from “Lookin’ At Me” aka The Sermon by the Bentley, its overall message is one of self-awareness. Even if a player hater is over there looking at you while ya girl-or man-is standing there, you have been correctly following the path that the divine has set for you. If not, someone else-Mase-will and you’ve got to deal with it.

Be blessed.